Please welcome JP Barnaby with
Thomas Aberthol’s luck has run out. His daughter, Hannah, needs a miracle he can’t deliver. A hacker with a felony record, Thomas has little chance of finding work that will provide the care she needs. Out of money, out of options, and out of hope, he throws himself on the mercy of someone he never thought to see again.
Even after ten years, Aleksander Sanna still dreams of that drunken kiss. A perfect moment in time when Thomas wanted him. In his world of elegant code and high finance, the picture he holds of Thomas torments him in the dark of night.
Their worlds collide as Thomas interviews for the job he so desperately needs with the company Aleks inherited from his father. Thomas doesn’t get the position, but Aleks offers him a completely different kind of proposal, one suited to Thomas’s unique talents… one that will change the course of both their lives.
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Anyone remember the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers? The premise, essentially, is that all of these people have been replaced by aliens who act completely differently. People think maybe that’s what happened to me. Looking back through my life, five years ago you could have found me hanging out and partying with half-naked (or sometimes very naked) porn stars in cities from Chicago to New York to Orlando. I have seen some of the wildest stuff, people probably wouldn’t even believe. I wore leather corsets. I had wild adventures in a dozen different cities. Fast forward to the holiday season of 2018 and now I live in the shadow of Atlanta where a night out means Olive Garden and a movie. I’m married to a wonderful man and have a crazy adorable dog. The wildest thing I do is come into the city to have dinner with Shae Connor. It’s a completely different lifestyle for me where I cook and do laundry and write essays for school.
I got into knitting very recently when my sister told me about a project they’re doing at their church. She and some of the other congregation members are knitting hats and scarves for the homeless. She uses different looms, round or rectangle—depending on the project and simply sits hooking yarn around pegs over and over until a hat comes out. What I’ve found since I’ve gotten my own looms and yarn is that it’s very relaxing. I have an anxiety disorder and with a combination of medication and relaxing activities, I’ve been able to keep that under control even while working and going to school full-time as well as working on books. So far, I’ve knitted hats and a long chunky scarf which I wore to Chicago this week.
I love the mindless repetition—I don’t have to think, just keep hooking the yarn over the peg over and over in a little circle until it starts to take shape. It’s not only relaxing, but also gratifying to see that yarn coming out on the other side as something that a person stuck in the cold may desperately need. Maybe that person will know that someone cared enough to sit and make them a hat or a scarf. Maybe that will make them feel a little more human.
For people who want to try loom knitting, I’ve found that I like the looms from Knitting Board – but you can get them anywhere—Michael’s, JoAnn’s, Wal-Mart. Looms should come with a hook tool and a plastic needle (that you’ll need to finish off the project). Looms have different gauges – which is the amount of space between the pegs. That gauge determines the weight of yarn you should use with it. I have narrow (3/8”) gauge looms that need worsted weight yarn. I also have wider gauge looms that can handle chunky yarn. I love the way chunky yarn looks after its been knitted. Then, it’s simply a matter of wrapping the yarn around the pegs twice and hooking the bottom across the top. There are countless videos on YouTube showing the technique. After you’ve mastered that stitch, you can also find other stitches to make patterns and cables. You’ll find that you can make flat pieces and stitch them together into an afghan. I’ve found patterns to use a loom to knit out things like cowls and purses, but I’m not quite up to those types of projects yet.
So, if you’re looking for a relaxing hobby, consider loom knitting. You don’t have to have the coordination needed for needles, and you could make people happy simply by knitting and purling. Churches and homeless shelters are always looking for warm clothes like hats, gloves, and scarves. Hospitals will take donations of little hats, booties, and blankets for mothers in need. I’m pretty sure in our local JoAnn’s there’s an entire aisle dedicated nothing but knitting baby stuff. Whatever you decide to do, it’s a worthwhile and emotionally satisfying way to kick back, relax, and help others.
About the author:
JP Barnaby is an award-winning contemporary romance and romantic suspense novelist with over a dozen novels. Her heart and soul, the Survivor Series, has been heralded by USA Today as one of their favorites. She recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta to appease her Camaro (Jake) who didn’t like the blustery winters. JP specializes in recovery romance but slips in a few erotic or comedic stories to spice things up. When she’s not working on her latest novel, she binge watches superheroes and crime dramas on Netflix with her husband and Jack Russell Terror, Chase.
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